The apparent excitement surrounding the alleged dissolution of the Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip, which would grant leeway in power to the Palestinian Authority is premature.

Those with limited knowledge of the history concerning the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation efforts may believe that peace is attainable in the Gaza Strip. The reality is that these negotiations, like many others, will fail in a short amount of time.

The reality is that these negotiations, like many others, will fail in a short amount of time. Hamas has a simple agenda, reconciliation with the Fatah led Palestinian Authority, and then to take over it.

Reconciliation serves a short-term practical purpose. Hamas must remove sanctions placed on it by the PA and return some form of economic normality to Gaza.

By dissolving its shadow government in Gaza, Hamas is creating a win-win situation. Hamas will be left to do what it does best, fight Israel. Fatah will be handed the reigns of power and consequently the headache of government. By regaining control of Gaza, Abbas seeks to increase his popularity. Recent polls show that most Palestinians wish him to resign

In the short term, both sides interests are served.

When Palestinian Premier, Rami Hamdallah, travels to Gaza next week, expect a fanfare and a media frenzy. The reality is not reconciliation, but rather the realization of a divorced couple that they need each other in order not to lose their house.

It is often said that the difference between a skeptic and an optimist is that a skeptic has more information. Indeed, many are quite skeptical about the plausibility of this agreement lasting.

Understanding the origins of Fatah, Hamas, and the historical controversies over the Gaza Strip shed a great amount of light in determining what is most likely to happen in the future between these Palestinian political parties.

Fatah was founded by Yasser Arafat in 1959, and originally known as the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, which united with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1967. Over time, Fatah has been plagued by inner conflicts of factionalism among a growing diversity of ideological perspectives.

Power corrupts and Fatach was not an exception. Much of the initial appeal of Hamas can be traced both to a backlash to Fatah, and the attraction of Hamas and its charitable work via the mosques. Fatah’s tendency to misuse the people’s money continued to plague its control of the Palestinian Authority

Hamas provides a religious, ideological and military alternative to Fatah.

The First Intifada, where Palestinians attempted to create a revolutionary overthrow of Israel’s control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, began in 1987 and lasted until the early 1990s, with the Madrid Conference in 1991 and the Oslo Accords two years later.

Hamas becoming increasingly militant in the early twenty-first century, the Gaza Strip became the territory of intense showdowns between Fatah and Hamas.

Despite claiming to rewrite its constitution, Hamas has made it abundantly clear that their goal was the complete destruction of Israel.

With Fatah factionalizing and Hamas becoming increasingly militant in the early twenty-first century, the Gaza Strip became the territory of intense showdowns between Fatah and Hamas.

In 2003, former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, announced plans of disengagement from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which were implemented over the next couple of years.

One year following the disengagement of Israel, the Palestinian legislative election concluded with a powerful victory for Hamas, who took 74 seats in the legislature compared to Fatah’s 45.

There were some other less powerful political groups that picked up seats in the Palestinian Parliament, but it appeared that Hamas was in substantial control of the government’s future, at least on a legislative level.

Takeover of Gaza Strip by Hamas in 2007

There was already a Unity Government that was formed in March of 2007, resulting from agreements made in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

This government, which included members from multiple Palestinian political parties, did not last long.

There were conflicts within and concerns from without, including Israel. By June of the same year, the climax of conflicts between Fatah and Hamas emerged, when political infighting exploded into a full-on military conflict in the Gaza Strip.

Just as Hamas emerged victorious in the 2006 legislative elections, so too did Hamas obtain victory in civil war. Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas disbanded the Unity Government in response to the military takeover.

The Palestinian National Authority still has control over the West Bank, while Hamas has continued to occupy the Gaza Strip for the last decade. Though just exactly how that has worked out in the last ten years is more complicated, as there have been multiple attempts to create some type of lasting Unity Government in the Gaza Strip since the Hamas takeover.

Developments of a “Unity Government” in the Gaza Strip

In as early as March 2008, Fatah and Hamas signed an agreement in Yemen, which was supposed to reconcile the two groups by reverting the Gaza Strip governmental system back to how it operated following the March 2007 Mecca agreements, and before the Hamas occupation of Gaza.

This Unity Government deal did not even last until the end of the year, when members of Hamas boycotted these arrangements. Fatah, in turn, retaliated. More talks were resumed in 2009 but eventually amounted to nothing of significance. According to a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Essam al-Arian, “Even if Hamas did acknowledge the state of Israel, other factions would spring up to take its place to reject the notion of recognition.” Multiple other talks and even substantiated accords were accepted in years since then, including discussions in Damascus (2010), agreements in Cairo (2011, 2012, 2014), and deals in Doha (2012, 2016). Quite often, the strongest contentions have revolved around geopolitical views towards Israel.

More talks were resumed in 2009 but eventually amounted to nothing of significance. According to a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Essam al-Arian, “Even if Hamas did acknowledge the state of Israel, other factions would spring up to take its place to reject the notion of recognition.” Multiple other talks and even substantiated accords were accepted in years since then, including discussions in Damascus (2010), agreements in Cairo (2011, 2012, 2014), and deals in Doha (2012, 2016). Quite often, the strongest contentions have revolved around geopolitical views towards Israel.

Multiple other talks and even substantiated accords were accepted in years since then, including discussions in Damascus (2010), agreements in Cairo (2011, 2012, 2014), and deals in Doha (2012, 2016). Quite often, the strongest contentions have revolved around geopolitical views towards Israel.

If this most recent Cairo proposal of a Unity Government is accepted, it will not necessarily be historic; such talks have been discussed for years.

What will really be unique is if these measures are actually carried out.

Considering the historical precedents, such actions would be unlikely, though theoretically possible if the two political groups attempt to move closer together.

Time will tell whether or not this most recent proposal is simply another failed attempt in the Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation narrative or the anomaly of actual change. Regardless, the world will be watching closely.

John M. Wiley contributed to this article.